Specialist Tony Lagouranis (born c. 1969) is a former United States Army soldier, best known for having participated in torture as an interrogator during the occupation of Iraq. He was featured in the 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side .
Lagouranis was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and graduated from high school in 1987 in New York City, going on to study Ancient Greek as part of his degree program at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
For roughly 10 months in 2004, Lagouranis was stationed in Abu Ghraib prison (Lagouranis was only at Abu Ghraib for a month and a half) near Baghdad and for a short time in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he claims to have observed and took part in a number of interrogation techniques including diet-alteration, the use of military dogs to induce terror, inducing hypothermia (with associated involuntary rectal thermometer readings), sleep deprivation, and the presence of ghost detainees.
Lagouranis is one of a handful of Iraq War veterans who provided first hand accounts of the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by members of the US military.(Others have given similar accounts while shielding their identities. ) In his op-ed for the New York Times , titled "Tortured Logic", he argues that senior officers and politicians are successfully evading the responsibility they should bear for the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. His book, Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator's Dark Journey through Iraq (co-authored with Allen Mikaelian), was published June 5, 2007.
He is grandson of the prominent Greek lawyer, Lieutenant Colonel of the Army, General Staff Officer during WW2 and subsequently member of the Resistance, Constantine Lagouranis (1898-1953).
Abu Ghraib prison was a prison complex in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, located 32 kilometers (20 mi) west of Baghdad. Abu Ghraib prison was opened in the 1950s and served as a maximum-security prison with torture, weekly executions, and squalid living conditions. From the 1980s, the prison was used by Saddam Hussein and later the United States to hold political prisoners. It developed a reputation for torture and extrajudicial killing, and was closed in 2002.
Janis Leigh Karpinski is a career officer in the US Army Reserve, now retired. She is notable for having commanded the forces that operated Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, at the time of the scandal related to torture and prisoner abuse. She commanded three prisons in Iraq, and the forces that ran them. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and secondary education from Kean College, a Master of Arts degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Master of Arts in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Charles A. Graner Jr. is a war criminal and former member of the U.S. Army reserve who was convicted of prisoner abuse in connection with the 2003–2004 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Graner, with other soldiers from his unit, the 372nd Military Police Company, were accused of allowing and inflicting sexual, physical, and psychological abuse on Iraqi prisoners of war in Abu Ghraib prison, a notorious prison in Baghdad during the United States' occupation of Iraq.
During the early stages of the Iraq War, United States Army and Central Intelligence Agency personnel committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy, and murder. The abuses came to public attention with the publication of photographs of the abuse by CBS News in April 2004. The incidents received widespread condemnation both within the United States and abroad.
About six months after the United States invasion of Iraq of 2003, rumors of Iraq prison abuse scandals started to emerge.
The Taguba Report, officially titled US Army 15-6 Report of Abuse of Prisoners in Iraq, is a report published in May 2004 containing the findings from an official military inquiry into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. It is named after Major General Antonio Taguba, the report's principal author.
Geoffrey D. Miller is a retired United States Army Major General who commanded the US detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Iraq. Detention facilities in Iraq under his command included Abu Ghraib prison, Camp Cropper, and Camp Bucca. He is noted for having trained soldiers in using torture, or "enhanced interrogation techniques" in US euphemism, and for carrying out the "First Special Interrogation Plan," signed by the Secretary of Defense, against a Guantanamo detainee.
Manadel al-Jamadi was a suspected terrorist who was tortured to death in United States custody during Central Intelligence Agency interrogation at Abu Ghraib Prison on 4 November 2003. His name became known in 2004 when the Abu Ghraib scandal made news; his corpse packed in ice was the background for widely reprinted photographs of grinning U.S. Army specialists Sabrina Harman and Charles Graner each offering a "thumbs-up" gesture. Al-Jamadi had been a suspect in a bomb attack that killed 12 people in a Baghdad Red Cross facility.
Ghost detainee is a term used in the executive branch of the United States government to designate a person held in a detention center, whose identity has been hidden by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. Such uses arose as the Bush administration initiated the War on Terror following the 9/11 attacks of 2001 in the United States. As documented in the 2004 Taguba Report, it was used in the same manner by United States (US) officials and contractors of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003–2004.
In 2005, The New York Times obtained a 2,000-page United States Army investigatory report concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. military personnel in December 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Bagram, Afghanistan and general treatment of prisoners. The two prisoners, Habibullah and Dilawar, were repeatedly chained to the ceiling and beaten, resulting in their deaths. Military coroners ruled that both the prisoners' deaths were homicides. Autopsies revealed severe trauma to both prisoners' legs, describing the trauma as comparable to being run over by a bus. Seven soldiers were charged in 2005.
Carolyn Wood, United States Army captain, is a military intelligence officer who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. She was implicated by the Fay Report to have "failed" in several aspects of her command regarding her oversight of interrogators at Abu Ghraib. She was alleged by Amnesty International to be centrally involved in the 2003 Abu Ghraib and 2002 Bagram prisoner abuse cases. Wood is featured in the 2008 Academy award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.
Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States, in the context of the early twenty-first century War on Terrorism, refers to foreign nationals the United States detains outside of the legal process required within United States legal jurisdiction. In this context, the U.S. government is maintaining torture centers, called black sites, operated by both known and secret intelligence agencies. Such black sites were later confirmed by reports from journalists, investigations, and from men who had been imprisoned and tortured there, and later released after being tortured until the CIA was comfortable they had done nothing wrong, and had nothing to hide.
The Fay Report, officially titled Investigation of Intelligence Activities at Abu Ghraib, was a military investigation into the torture and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. It was sparked by leaked images of Iraqi prisoners, hooded and naked, being mistreated obtained by the United States and global media in April 2004. The Fay Report was one of five such investigations ordered by the military and was the third to be submitted, as it was completed and released on August 25, 2004. Prior to the report's release, seven reservist military police had already been charged for their roles in the abuse at the prison, and so the report examined the role of military intelligence, specifically the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade that was responsible for the interrogation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. General Paul J. Kern was the appointing authority for the report and oversaw the investigation. The chief investigators were Major General George Fay, whom the report is named after, and Lieutenant General Anthony R. Jones.
Camp Nama was a military base in Baghdad, Iraq, originally built by the government of Saddam Hussein, from which its name derives, and now used by Iraqi military forces. Purportedly, the original Iraqi name has been repurposed by U.S. personnel involved with the facility as a backronym standing for "Nasty Ass Military Area".
Damien M. Corsetti was a soldier in the United States Army. As part of the Army's investigation into prisoner abuse at Bagram, Corsetti was charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, assault and performing an indecent act with another person. PFC Corsetti was later found not guilty of all charges. At the time Corsetti was a specialist in the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, serving under Lieutenant Carolyn Wood.
Steven L. Jordan is a former United States Army Reserve officer and war criminal. Jordan volunteered to return to active duty to support the war in Iraq, and as a civil affairs officer with a background in military intelligence, was made the director of the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib prison.
Taxi to the Dark Side is a 2007 American documentary film directed by Alex Gibney, and produced by him, Eva Orner, and Susannah Shipman. It won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It focuses on the December 2002 killing of an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar, who was beaten to death by American soldiers while being held in extrajudicial detention and interrogated at a black site at Bagram air base.
Emad Khudhayir Shahuth al-Janabi was an Iraqi blacksmith detained in Abu Ghraib prison where he alleges he was abused by American military personnel and defense contractors.
A number of incidents stemming from the September 11 attacks have raised questions about legality.
Ali Shallal al-Qaisi is an Iraqi who was captured in United States custody during CIA interrogation at Abu Ghraib Prison in 2003. His name became known in 2004 when the Abu Ghraib scandal made news.